Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jingle Bell Run 12/15/12

I ran my last race for the year. We had fun putting together our outfits and making our shirts!

We were able to run really fast despite of the extremely cold weather and beat all of our previous race times by 2 minutes!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Trot 11/22/12

I'm trying to get motivated again to run races so I thought doing one on thanksgiving morning would be tons of fun. 
 We decided to wear neon pink shirts (there's something about pink that makes me happy).
We weren't as prepared for this race as we thought we were. Most races at this park are on the flatter courses. This one was up and down hills. We definitely earned our pumpkin pie!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

10 Years ago

Happy 10 year Anniversary to my amazing Husband!
I am one lucky girl! I can't wait to see what the next 10 years brings for us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini Session Time!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Color Me Rad 9/30/12

I had so much fun in June that I thought it would be fun to run in another color race. This time it was in Fresno so we were able to have some of our friends join us.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10 Lessons from 10 years of Marriage

James and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary soon. (I know I can't believe it either!) I've been reflecting a lot lately about our last 10 years together and what they have meant to me.

We got married really young without really knowing anything about each other. We basically learned the good, the bad, and the ugly during the years following our wedding day. We've had our share of ups and downs, but all together I think we are still best friends and have a deeper love and understanding for each other than we did in the first years of our life together.

As I've been thinking about our marriage, I've come to realize that I have learned 10 lessons (in no particular order) that I feel have made me a better, stronger person and spouse and therefore have strengthened our marriage. I want to point out that I am no where near an expert on marriage nor am I perfect in any of these lessons, but these are my opinions and observations.

#1- It's ok to fight. When we first got married, I had the naive notion that if we had an argument, we'd get divorced. I still occasionally feel this way, but I am starting to learn that fighting helps us grow stronger together. We learn what's expected and needed from the other person. There is also a right way and a wrong way to fight with your spouse. It is also important to never hold a grudge.  Relationships go in cycles with ups and downs. This is normal and healthy.

#2- Know your spouses love language. When we first got married, I wrote James love notes all the time and left them in places that I knew he'd find when I wasn't around. I'd get so upset when I didn't get an acknowledgment of these notes. A few years later, James suggested to me that I read a book called "The 5 Love Languages". I quickly learned that, all though it is nice in my eyes, James doesn't respond to notes the same way I do. I had to learn to show him love and appreciation in the ways he needed. This is something that I haven't perfected, but I am constantly working on it.

#3- Serve each other. Once again, I feel as though this is a work in progress, but to me it means putting James' needs before mine.When you get married, you become one. Even if James has a need that I don't, it is still my need because we are one. You need to serve your spouse because you love them, not because you feel obligated. Feeling obligated is a slippery slope that leads to grudges.

#4- Don't use sex as a weapon. Don't deny your husband sex because he did something to upset you. Intimacy is an act that draws a couple closer, by using it as weapon you open the door to resentment. This is not only a misuse of a God-given privilege, it shows great selfishness on the part of one or both partners and makes sexuality a destructive rather than a unifying element in marriage. In 1982, Spencer W. Kimball said, “if you study the divorces, as we have had to do in these past years, you will find there are one, two, three, four reasons. Generally sex is the first. They did not get along sexually. They may not say that in court. They may not even tell that to their attorneys, but that is the reason". For my LDS friends (and non, if you are interested), there is a wonderful article from the 1986 ensign titled They Twain Shall Be One: Thoughts on Intimacy in Marriage. I recommend every to read it whether or not this is an issue in your marriage.

#5 Be interested and invested in each other’s passions. Over the last 10 years, I have attended every one of James' basketball and softball games (except for a handful that happen to take place when I was out of town). At those games I have counted how many points he's scored and recently I have started keeping track of his assists and rebounds. Likewise, James has attended every race I have ran (except 1 because he had a basketball game at the same time) and has taken pictures of the whole event for me. This is not because we don't have a life, it's because we are invested in each other's interests. I did promise James when we first got married that I would come to every sporting event he was participating in that I could, but I knew that he would appreciate knowing his stats for each game so it became a priority for me to be there and let him know how he did. James knows that running is my passion so he supports me by waiting for me at the finish line with the camera ready. There are many other ways to support your spouse.

#6- Don't ever give the other person a reason not to trust you. Jealousy is a nasty feeling and I know personally how damaging it can be to any relationship. Don't give your spouse a reason to ever be jealous. James does a great job of this. I never question where he's been or what he's been doing. Also, it's not appropriate to continue talking with an ex. There is nothing you need out of that relationship.

#7- Say "I love you" every chance you get. Enough said! James and I never end a phone conversation or leave the house without first telling the other person, "I love you". Don't let him have a chance to forget!

#8- Be affectionate. Hold hands or put your arm around your spouse any opportunity you get, even in public. Let everyone know how much you love and adore your spouse. I look forward to church each sunday for many reasons, but one in particular is because James always has his arm around me or is holding my hand. There's been a few times that we have been upset at each other and I've been concerned that other people at church will know this because we aren't be as affectionate as usual.

#9- Don't let yourself go. Just because you are married and out of the dating scene doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to make yourself attractive and desirable to your spouse. Don't give your spouse a reason to lust after others. James and I joke about having a physical prenup. We don't technically have one, but we do make it a priority to make ourselves physically attractive for each other.

#10- Don't mind read. Just ask what's going on. An upset facial expression can mean he had a bad day at work not that he's angry with you for not making his favorite dinner. Unless you spend every waking moment with your spouse, you don't know what has happened to them during their day to cause their mood to be in whatever state it may be.

“[There are] no combination[s] of power [which] can destroy [a] marriage except the power within either or both of the spouses themselves.” ( Marriage and Divorce, Deseret Book, p. 17.)"

Monday, August 20, 2012

K & K: Family

This is my sister, Kolbri and my adorable niece, Kenley.

To see more of their pictures, click here.

Kaici & Ken: Couple

While visiting the midwest last month, I was able to squeeze in some photo sessions with my beautiful sisters. This one is my baby sister. I had too much fun with her and her boyfriend, Ken. They even brought some of their own props.

Click here to see more from this shoot.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wisconsin Trip

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent 2 weeks with my family in Milwaukee. I left James home. Sadly, I didn't take very many pictures, for a good reason, I was too busy shopping my way through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana! Here's a recap of some of my adventures:

My parents picked me up at the airport and we drove straight to Kohl's to clothes shop because the airline lost my luggage. A few days later, I received my dearly missed suitcase!

We had a yummy BBQ at my sister's house.

We visited Lake Geneva. It's a beautiful lake with gigantic mansions on it and great shopping! It would have been a little more enjoyable if it wasn't 109 degrees that day.

We went to a huge farmer's market at the state capitol in Madison. I got some really good Banana Bread. Anyone that knows me, knows that I LOVE banana bread!
We rode bikes to watch the 4th of July parade. There were many tractors in the parade. That's something you don't see in California!
We went to Cedarburg, WI. This is beginning to become a tradition. I've blogged about this place a few years ago.

We took a road trip and stopped at multiple places to shop. Our first stop was IKEA. We eventually made our way to my hometown in Indiana. We got there late in the afternoon, met up with my other 2 sisters and niece, had dinner, went to the beach to take some pictures, and then called it a night. The next morning, we hit the road early and headed out to Shipshewana, In. This is an adorable Amish town. They have a gigantic flea market with homemade furniture, food, and crafts.

We brought my niece back  with us to Milwaukee. I was so happy to be able to spend the last few days of my trip with her.

We went to the Racine Zoo, where we rode a camel and a train and got caught in the rain!

I know I left out a lot of things, but here are a few of the highlights. Can't wait to see my family again!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Storm the Bastille 7/12/2012

I just came home from an enjoyable 2 weeks in the Midwest with my family (I may blog about it soon).

While I was there, I decided to run a race. The only race I could find during the time I was there was one called Storm The Bastille. It was a kick off to the Bastille Days. My sister and her boyfriend joined me. This was a different race for me in many ways. It was the largest race I've ever ran in (I think I'll stick to my small local ones), it was at night, and half the runners were running with alcohol or had been drinking at the starting line. 

When we registered a month earlier, they said there's typically 4,ooo runners, but by the time we went to pick up our shirt and bibs they had handed out everything. A few estimates were near 10,000 runners.

It was amazing running through the streets of downtown Milwaukee! I took one picture and it doesn't quite show the horde of people like I was hoping it would.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Color Me Rad 6/30/2012

Last month we took a break from our usual competitive spirt and ran a fun race. We ventured down to Bakersfield to try out a color race.

We thought it would be fun to print up shirts with our team name. We will be running another color race in Fresno later this year so we didn't feel bad for spending the money to get them printed up.

We went with a hot pink theme! LOVE it! These are our pre-race pictures.
And now, post race...

 This was the finish line from James' point of view.
And this was the finish line from my point of view.

 All in all it was an adventure! I can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Look who finally turned 1! I decided that since I haven't taken any pictures of Rocket since the week we got her, it was time to take a few.

This is what happens when you have no cute kids to photograph!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cell Phone Dump

I know it has been a while since I've had a real post. I honestly don't have any free time anymore, you will read why towards the end of this post. I decided it was time to go through my cell phone pictures and document everything. This will somewhat update you with our lives.

Rocket is still a little terror. We are hoping that since she'll be turning 1 next month that she will no longer act like a puppy. (I know, high hopes). Last fall, I was watering some potted plants in our backyard. We have an ant infestation in our dirt so the ants came out of the plants with the extra water. Rocket decided to drink the water and got a ton of ant bites on her mouth. It's kind of hard to tell from this picture, but her mouth is swollen.

Rocket got spayed and had to wear a cone. At first she didn't like it and then she realized she could be even more of a bulldozer with it and cried whenever we took it off of her. Seriously, I have never heard of a dog enjoy a cone.

For the halloween party at our church, I had a photo booth. It was a floating head theme. Everyone seemed to love it! (I'm sorry I may have already posted about this, but I don't have the time to go back and check.)
As I've mentioned in a previous post, we went to Hawaii again last november. Once again, we hiked up Diamond Head. Here is my lovely husband hanging off the edge.
We had a "ghetto" christmas this year. We were in Hawaii during thanksgiving time and then packed up to spend christmas with my family so I was in vacation mode. I usually love decorating for the holidays, but I was too busy mopping about not being on the beach anymore. Plus, have I mentioned that Rocket is a terror? We bought a tiny 4 foot christmas tree and decorated it with only beach themed ornaments. I LOVED it!
I hope I'm allowed to post this following picture. I went and visited James at his office. I don't get to do this too often, but enjoy it when I do. I had no idea he had a picture of us in his office along with a studly picture of himself.
For christmas, my parents bought me these awesome shelf organizers. I have been obsessed with organization and felt I'd never get our pantry under control. These have been amazing. I can actually buy more of each item!

For James' mom's birthday in january, the whole family went to a Bakersfield Condor's game. It was a blast! 
Little Rhyen loves Uncle Jim!
I have been talking about taking off the shower doors for a while and finally did. I was intimidated by it, but once I started I was so surprised how easy it was. I even went a head and did the master bathroom shower doors too.
We put this fun shower curtain up. We have another designer one in front of it, but I'm not sure that it's the right one for our bathroom so I haven't taken a picture of it yet.
Our poor sweet neighbors woke up to 2 vehicles with no tires. You might have to enlarge this to see both of their cars propped up on blocks.
I'm not sure when (maybe around valentine's day) we went to a dance in Bakersfield with James' family. It was fun to spend time with everyone.
A couple months ago, James got to go into a 100+ year old bank that has been condemned for 20 years. I wish I could find the picture of the bank vault, but this is all you get.
I was so worried about him entering a building that no one has been in for 20 years, but he assured me they were very safe and wore hard hats.
I took James on a hot date for Valentine's day. This picture is horrible, but it's WWE wrestling. Just up his alley!
James is playing on a league again with other people from his company. He decided to call up his old buddy from Bakersfield to join the team. These 2 played a lot of ball together the 4 years we lived in Bakersfield. It was so nice to see them together again. It's amazing how well they play together still after 6 years.
Our little niece had a slumber party at our house for a weekend a couple months ago. She was obsessed with Rockets cage.
Rocket is a cuddler. If no one's around to love her, she'll curl up with whatever she can find.
For James' birthday this year, I was a good wife and took him out on a date. Sadly, this date was to the allergist. Before you get worried, I got his permission to post this picture of him, but he suggested I keep the picture of my back off. We both got tested to see what we were allergic to. As you can see from James' back, he's highly allergic to everything. My back looked very similar.
Just like James, Rocket enjoys a box of sprees. Unlike James, Rocket just likes to cuddle the box. Although, I'm not sure if there were any in the box before she cuddled with it.
Unfortunately, due to our hot date night at the allergist, James' birthday wasn't all that great. So I a few days later, I surprised him with a birthday re-do.
I turned the big 3-0 last month. Surprisingly I survived and don't feel any different. My thoughtful parents sent me this flower arrangement complete with black roses.
And the reason I suddenly don't have free time.... I'm back in school. I started April 9th and have 2 years and 5 months left before I get my bachelor's degree in computer science. We have a beautiful desk in our office, but I have decided to make permanent residence at the kitchen table instead. I currently have online classes and am required to spend a minimum of 4 1/2 hours a day doing school work.